The dining room table groans under the weight of my life’s debris. A suitcase sits open on one chair; a computer bag dangles from another. Unopened junk mail cascades across its surface.
I’m supposed to be attacking that pile but I sit on the couch, its hard foam cushions barely making a dent under my weight. I pay no attention to the discomfort. I’m thinking about the wonderful women in my life.
Their interwoven love slings under me, a net for the high wire act of my life. I snuggle in a pale peach sweater that Joanna wore and wrap my neck in a delicate scarf from Virginia. In that pile of mail I see an envelope with Joyce’s handwriting, holding a card in which she steadfastly refers to me by the name which I’ve preferred for 45 years, despite the disdain of some of the siblings to whom she directed the joint missive.
This morning I tucked a mug from my friend Tricia into a bag that Pat gave me, and carried both to my office. When I reach in my handbag for my keys, my fingers curl around the little felt heart from Hope. Beside me on Joanna’s secretary lies a bookmark that Jana tucked into a thank-you card. When I eat breakfast, I twist the knob on the music box angel from Jeanne. Over in the corner, the portable charger which Katrina brought me winks its reassuring eyes. Brenda’s tea cups rest on the keeping shelf, beside a little ornament from Penny. Above the stove, another cup, from Jenny, stands waiting for hot water and flowering herbs, comforting warmth at the end of a stressful day.
And everywhere I turn, cups and saucers and bowls and bells which once belonged to Lucy, my first Wonder Woman.
Ah, my inspiration, my life-lines, these women who call me (daughter) and sister and friend. I could not survive without your love. I would not even try.
Many of these women live miles, even states away but I’m not complaining. I have only to rummage among the trinkets in my house to touch a surface which their fingers have also touched. Their energy lingers in these tangible signs of their regard for me. I close my eyes and one after another of these women drifts to my side. I feel you. I see you. You sustain me.
It’s the twenty-seventh day of the thirty-ninth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.